Answer

Emerging use cases for LTFS (Linear Tape File System)

Is LTFS just a benefit for archiving, or are there other applications for it?

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The Linear Tape File System (LTFS) is a file system designed for tape by IBM and other vendors.  It can be used for archiving, but I think of it as providing a platform optimized for “retention storage” more simply.

I differentiate retention storage -- storage containing files that are less frequently re-referenced and therefore best suited to design with “capacity per watt” used as an efficiency metric -- from “capture storage” -- storage designed to accommodate data with a high re-reference rate and optimized for IOPS per watt.

With an LTFS-enabled tape repository, you can store files just as you would on a disk array and access them through a normal file system listing. Combine that technology to a server host, offering NFS, or CIFS/SMB, and you have a NAS box on steroids that can be used as much as a production storage platform as an archive platform.

This was first published in March 2012

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